We were standing in the old church. The long time church of her family. Services were over. We were all mingling about, slowly making our way to the door. She saw me. She smiled. She hugged me. As she hugged me she said “I love you”. She didn’t know me well at the time. I was startled, surprised at such an intimate statement of depth. When she said it, startled as I was, I knew it to be true and believed it. She didn’t quantify it, and she didn’t need to. I knew . This human being loved me. Simply. She loved me because she was able, capable and willing to accept me and love me. No reason needed. I stuttered an “I love you too” back to her. She smiled at me. I knew I meant it. I surprised myself by saying it. My response was genuine, without forethought or contemplation. It was truth. That she set free in me. To love. Freely and truthfully. I thank her for this.